From San Francisco Bay Area, California comes something great in the Hip-Hop community, and that something great is the impressive lyrical style of BledJon. With his masterfully produced album The Popular Loner, BledJon has something to prove apparently about why he deserves to be at the top.
RYAN: First off, your album The Popular Loner is what I consider great hip-hop. Who inspires you to keep your music at such a high level of skill?
BledJon: Thank you for taking the time out to listen to the album. Your words of affirmation are encouraging. When it comes to my music, I find inspiration in the ups and downs of life. I listen to my own heart and take it serious as to which words I choose in order to form an audible picture.
RYAN: California is truly home to some of the best music ever made in my opinion. What is it about that place that inspires you to create your particular sound?
BledJon: I’d have to agree that California has been home to many great talents across many genres. I think California in general is home to many free thinkers and so it naturally blends into the music here. Creativity is encouraged and while I don’t have a traditional Bay Area sound, I think people appreciate my musical creative ambition.
RYAN: Music is so much deeper with some history attached to it, can you tell us a bit about how you got this point in your career?
BledJon: The Popular Loner is actually my very first album. I’ve been writing for a little over a decade and used to do poetry slams and spoken word performances. I’ve felt I had the talent for an album for some time, but I needed to make sure my heart was ready to be vulnerable. This year I’ve gone through so much change and through the hardships it inspired this album.
RYAN: The song writing process is different for everyone. How does the song writing process happen for you?
BledJon: When writing the material to this album, I shut off the T.V. and wouldn’t listen to any music in my genre for the entire crafting process (roughly around 5 months). I’d play the instrumental I’m writing to for as long as it takes until my heart speaks to me. I’d also play music in other genres and epic movies scores to stretch my brain to think outside of the box.
RYAN: I am not much for name dropping, but out of curiosity, is there an artist out there that you would like to work with in the future if given the chance?
BledJon: There are too many artists both in and outside of my genre I’d be open to create art with. Off the top of my head, I’d have to say singer/songwriter EmilianaTorrini from Iceland or singer/producer JMSN based out of Los Angeles.
RYAN: There is always talk about the day music died among hipster fans of any genre. How do you currently feel about the well-being of the hip-hop industry? Is it still thriving in your opinion, or in need of a few more great artists?
BledJon: I think there is always a need for great artists to arise. If you know where to look you can find really great Hip-Hop still today. I love 90’s Hip-Hop, but we’ll never have that again as a whole. I think Hip-Hip gets a bad name from a lot of the lyrical lacking music that gets heavy rotation on radio. However, many artists are putting out gems. I thought Hip-Hop died back when Nas said it in 06’ but I think it was just asleep to the masses. Hip-Hop is alive.
RYAN: Hollywood has given us more than a few movies based on becoming the next rap superstar, and it is safe to say that there are many people trying to make that dream happen. Do you have any advice for these up-and-comers?
BledJon: I heard a painter say one time “Are you willing to continue pursuing your passion even if you weren’t seeing a dime from it?” That question really checked my heart because if you’re not willing to struggle for something you truly love than maybe your definition of love is off. Pursue your passion for the love and have the money be a blessing rather than the motivation. Also, listen to your heart when creating music.
RYAN: My favorite albums have shifted from one or the other multiple times over the years, but a few always stay at the top for me. Can you tell us what are a few of your favorite albums to date and why?
BledJon: There are so many albums I can name: DMX ‘It’s Dark and Hell is Hot’ captured something special that I’ve never come across at that the point in my life. Notorious B.I.G. ‘Ready to Die’ is a perfect album that you can play from start to finish. Sevin ‘Str8 FrumthaDragonz Mouth’ is still probably the realest Hip-Hop album I’ve ever heard. And one non Hip-Hop album would be EmilianaTorrini ‘Love in the Time of Science’ I can play the album straight through, no skips, with her voice touching my soul every time.
RYAN: The Soundcloud/Rdio revolution is fully here now, and physical sales have been in decline for some time now. How do you feel about file sharing, streaming and the new digital age of music?
BledJon: I think file sharing and streaming has been fantastic from the listener’s perspective. It has also given greater exposure to many artists who would never be able to reach as many listeners. While that’s true, it obviously has hurt the pockets of the music industry as a whole. It’s both good and bad depending on how you look at it.
RYAN: 2016 is upon us and I know many artists are looking to make their biggest moves. What is your battle plan for next year?
BledJon: The next plan of action is to really start doing shows. I feel The Popular Loner is strong album and will need to continue pushing it. I’m not planning on making a new album in the next few months if that’s what people are wondering haha.
RYAN: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Is there any news from the BledJon camp that you would like your fans to know?
BledJon: Thank you Ryan and Vents Magazine for this interview. For the next 15 weeks on bledjon.com I am discussing the motivation behind my album. Each week I will discuss a different song until the 15 weeks are complete. People can follow the process and stay up to date with any updates in regards to shows etc. as well. Once again thank you for this interview.